By the Numbers — Improving Your Body Composition

When it comes to whole body health, focusing on weight or appearance alone can be deceiving. As you become healthier, the composition of your body changes, and your fitness levels can begin to increase even before you see outward differences.

At the holistic medical practice of Bonnie S. Friehling, MD, in Columbia, Missouri, we focus on helping you build a plan for the best health of your life. It starts with a basic nutritional health plan, sensible exercise, and a review of your core health levels. We can help you understand your body composition and track your progress to a healthier you.

Body composition

Every human body is different. We’re made up of the same things ― fat, bone, muscle, hormones, and so on ― but it’s how much of each thing you have that determines your body composition and how healthy you are.

Your body shape or type can vary, and so can your weight. The important numbers aren’t just the ones on a scale, but the ones that show how your body fat and muscle tissue are apportioned and distributed.

Body mass index

Your body mass index (BMI) is calculated using your height and weight, which can mean a lot of factors aren’t considered. There are many things that can make your BMI inaccurate. For example, your body shape or type can skew results. Also, building up muscle or bone through sports can add nonfat weight and therefore skew your results. There is an average BMI range usually considered healthy. To lower your BMI, you need to lose fat, not just overall weight.

  • A healthy BMI range is generally considered to be 18.5-25.

Visceral fat

It’s not just the total amount of fat you have, but what type it is and where it’s located that can be a clue to your actual body composition and health levels. Visceral fat tends to cluster around the midsection. Measuring your waist can be a very rough indicator of your visceral fat levels. The best way to verify your visceral fat level is to get a body fat analysis. A body fat analysis assigns a number between 1 and 59. Losing excess visceral fat can help reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

  • A healthy level of visceral fat is generally considered to be less than 13.

Total body water

Staying hydrated is another important part of being healthy, but water weight can make you squint at your scale. You can use an online calculator to estimate your total body water and adjust your hydration intake to achieve a healthy balance. The average amount of your body that should be water is 50%.

  • A healthy level of body water in men is generally considered to be 43-73%.
  • A healthy level of body water in women is generally considered to be 39-63%.

All of these numbers are just that: numbers. But for most people, they can provide a general idea of body composition, overall health, and potential future health risks. For expert analysis, Dr. Friehling can give you a thorough evaluation and put you on the path to a healthy new you. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with the office of Bonnie S. Friehling, MD, today.

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